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Frank Edward Steadman Murrell, Private, Bedfordshire Regiment

Frank Murrell was an apprentice cook at Jesus College.​

Born in Chesterton, Cambridge: 1899

Fell in action: 24 April 1918

He was the son of John Murrell who is listed as a jobbing Gardener in the 1911 census and his wife Louisa.

The census shows that Frank’s older sister, Mary already had a trade as a tailoress at the age of 15 and he also had a younger brother named Clifford, who would have been around 13 at the time of his brother’s death.

Frank's time at the College coincided with the time that the 22nd Officer Cadet Battalion was billeted there, so although the students were absent, the kitchen would have been busy.

At a Tribunal on 14 May 1917 the Master and Fellows argued that Frank should be exempted from military service as “he was the only man of military age working in the kitchens and that he was doing work of national important owing to the number of Cadets in the College”. The arguments were in vain and Frank had to leave his work at the College and travel to Bury St Edmunds to enlist.

The Cambridge News subsequently explains that he was sent to the Front in March 1918. He died the following month around the time of his 19th birthday. The paper goes on to report that “Mr and Mrs Murrell have received a message of sympathy from the King and Queen”

​You can email us on ww1-project@jesus.cam.ac.uk, go to our First World War homepage, or find us on Lives of the First World War.

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